Monday, January 07, 2013

The Shushing Tyranny of “Be Nice!” | First Things

Link: the-shushing-tyranny-of-be-nice

If, as is generally agreed, there is freedom in naming a thing for what it is, then there can only be oppression in refusing to do so, all for the sake of being nice. Chiding others for daring to say (with lamentable levity) what many others are thinking is not a productive means of promoting truth or of serving Christ, in whom is our freedom. Quite the opposite; it serves only to shut down those realities that make us uncomfortable, or shake our illusions or stab at our worldviews.

In which case a sanctimonious "shush, be nice,"—far from being an admonishment to charity—equates only to "shut up," delivered sometimes from the mouths of those who think they're too nice to ever say something that rude, and often from the self-knowing tyrants who just want you to believe it.

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